Queen Anne Heart Embossed Jewel Box
Every February 14 loved ones exchange candy, flowers, cards and gifts in the name of St. Valentine. But who was St. Valentine and why do we celebrate this holiday in his honor? Several legends surround the observance of this romantic day, but none have been substantiated. As is common with many holidays, the meaning and celebration of Valentine’s Day has evolved over time, perhaps holding one of the oldest and most storied histories.
The Catholic Church recognizes three martyred saints named Valentine, although the lore surrounding each one is not always clear. One legend claims that Valentine was a priest in third century Rome, who, after Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for young men, defied the order and performed marriages in secret. When discovered, he was arrested and eventually put to death. The legend continues when Valentine, while in jail, fell in love with a beautiful young girl. Before his death, he wrote her a love letter and signed it “From Your Valentine” , a sentiment still popular today.
Some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in February to honor the anniversary of Valentine’s death; others contend that the Church designated the Ides of February as Valentine’s Feast Day in order to legitimize a pagan Greco-Roman fertility festival called Luperci. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that mid-February began the birds mating season, furthering the notion that Valentine’s Day glorifies romance.
By the 18th century, Valentine’s Day was widely recognized as a time when friends and lovers would exchange tokens of affection and handwritten notes. By the end of the 19th century, mass-produced Valentine greeting cards became a popular means for people to express their feelings at a time when that kind of behavior was generally discouraged. In the 20th century, the practice of exchanging cards on Valentine’s Day was extended to include all kinds of gifts, including jewelry and romantic trinkets. Gift giving was typically from a man to a woman, but has since expanded so that Valentine sentiments are now exchanged universally.
So what kind of Valentine’s gift is appropriate for your loved one? Silver and Pewter Gifts offers a huge selection of quality, handcrafted pewter and sterling silver pieces that are sure to bring delight to your Valentine, especially when custom engraved with your personal message of affection. Jewel boxes lined in velvet, picture frames, vases, trays, bowls, candlesticks, pitchers, bracelets and many other items are the perfect choice to honor romance.
And what about the man in your life? Silver and Pewter Gifts has many items that any man would wish for: flasks, tankards, desktop accessories and barware, all crafted in fine pewter. Most pieces can be engraved to include a personal Valentine sentiment.
Celebrating Valentine’s Day the modern way is certainly more clear and more meaningful than in Roman times. Enjoy the day and pay tribute to love and affection.